Monday, January 19, 2015

KCR's love for Nizam...

The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference:

On January 2, national media was abuzz with KCR praising the Nizam as a “glorious king”. However, this is not the first time KCR has praised the Nizam this way. This news report in The Hindu dates back to 2007 – KCR has been constantly praising the Nizam thereby giving two hoots to the atrocities committed by the “glorious king”. In fact, KCR went on to add this – “Small mistakes might have happened – they happen in any kingdom”, and went on to justify the glorious rule of the Nizam by citing examples of infrastructure built by the Nizam! What are these “small mistakes”? For the uninitiated, Razakars were a private army raised under the aegis of the “glorious king” Nizam, and had committed untold miserable crimes on the population. Their primary demand was to merge Hyderabad into Pakistan and not India. A wikipedia reading would give you enough details of the “glorious king” Nizam.
This liking towards Nizam is very surprising. Komaram Bheem is an icon of the Telangana liberation movement. Various leaders of the TRS often cite him to glorify the history of Telangana. KCR himself has praised Komaram Bheem often. Guess whom Komaram Bheem was fighting? The rule of the “glorious king”! There are more examples on similar lines too. What really explains this paradox? Is it merely for infrastructure? Or is it to satisfy the ego of MIM? Or is this the age-old last resort of all secularists – say anything to get votes of the minority community? Or is it because he sees Andhra region having names of British rulers for some infrastructure?
One of the most striking features of KCR’s rule in the past 7 months is the acrimony he tries to generate through his statements. He once told that he will bury the media 10km deep if they write anything against Telangana. Quite often his speeches are laced with acrimony towards AP, and at times he uses harsh language against opponents. All this is justified by supporters saying that there is a section of audience that enjoys this and therefore he is doing what is right for the section! Much better is expected from a person of the CM’s stature.
Another argument has been that commentators should focus on real work that KCR is doing, and not focus on random statements! For both the new State of Telangana and AP, it is too early to take a call on how the governance is shaping the States. One of the primary reasons is that All India Service officers have just been allotted to both the States – thereby most departments were pretty much rudderless all these 7 months. KCR still spends considerable time in reviewing various projects, promising that Telangana will become a glorious State within 4 years (promises water supply to all homes, loan waiver to farmer upto 1 lakh, 24 hour electricity within 3 years etc). There were bad media reports on how pensions were being distributed, and the people of the State are yet to see any tangible benefits from the much touted one-day survey of the State! A few new programs have been initiated, but like mentioned earlier, it is way too early to comment on good or bad of KCR’s governance.
The situation is pretty similar in Andhra Pradesh too – the government is focussing on 2 main things – the promised loan waiver (which still hasn’t been implemented fully) and building a capital. Building a capital is an onerous task and the government is leaving no stone unturned to acquire lands in the region identified. Chandrababu Naidu’s major poll promise was to provide full waiver to all farm loans. So far, he has been able to fulfil only 25 per cent of his promise – so he still has a long way to go for the same. Incidentally, KCR also has fulfilled 25 per cent of his promise to waive farm loan, but somehow Naidu’s promise gets more media coverage than KCR’s! Andhra Pradesh also had to deal with the Hudhud super cyclone – parts of the State are still recovering from the huge damage this has caused. For a nascent State to have gone through such natural destruction is terrible.
There definitely does not seem be scope for KCR to tone down on his rhetoric. As far as governance goes – there is no alternative but to wait for at least 1 more year before commenting in detail. Until then – Jai Rhetoric!


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